I surfed channels back in the day and often landed on some of my favorite teen shows. It was comedies I was particularly drawn to, especially if they were filled with corny humor and slapstick jokes.
I loved teen shows that found the characters in some kind of mess that was resolved by the episode’s end. Shows like Drake & Josh also provided several zany adventures for their characters, which I also loved.
This article was fun to write, but afterwards I’ll be occupied binging my favorite episodes of the shows listed here.
I wanted to have my own web show after I started watching this. Carly, Sam and Freddie, though they occasionally ran into obstacles with running a web show, seemed to have the time of their lives as teenage celebrities. They met so many cool people, and some not so cool people (like a washed-up pop star), and they walked away with plenty of awesome stories.
I also loved the diversity of the characters, and not just the three teens. Spencer was probably my favorite character on the show; to be honest, I’ve loved Jerry Trainor since I saw him as “Crazy” Steve on Drake & Josh. He truly is a brilliant actor; he’s definitely mastered comedy. Spencer was inspirational to me as an artist, and I loved his many eccentricities; he brought a lot to iCarly, and it just wouldn’t be the same without him. Freddie’s overprotective and overbearing mother was pretty funny in her own way too—I have to wonder if these characters were based on people in real life, and if so, I’d totally want to meet them.
What I Like About You
I’ve always been a fan of Jennie Garth and Amanda Bynes, so of course I tuned into What I Like About You. Jennie and Amanda played Val and Holly Tyler, two very different individuals who happen to be sisters. When their father accepts a new job in Japan, Holly stays behind in New York City with her big sister.
The two lead different lives, but they were close—though there’s an age difference, living together really did help the two connect. It was fun to watch them navigate life in their own ways.
Life in the Big Apple is certainly never boring, especially where the Tyler sisters are concerned. They helped each other through plenty of things, and despite their different personalities, they’re exactly what each other needed, having one another to learn on as they embarked on the adventures of life together.
Drake & Josh
Back in the day, my brother and I were devoted viewers to this timeless Nickelodeon sitcom. Two step-brothers growing up in San Diego, tortured by their vicious little sister, and encountering all kinds of funny situations together was bound to be a hit. I loved Drake and Josh’s chemistry in particular; they really were like real-life brothers.
They had their fights and their moments where they weren’t necessarily each other’s favorite person, but they always overcame that, usually with one or the other exclaiming “hug me brotha!” Drake and Josh were great at slapstick comedy, and had impeccable comedic timing. I loved the TV films as well, especially Drake & Josh Go Hollywood.
They had plenty of memorable moments, but one of my personal favorites from the show is when “Crazy” Steve went after Josh for eating his enchilada. Poor Josh—there was no note, after all.
Yes, I was a Hannah Montana fan. I memorized the lyrics to her songs, had plenty of merchandise, and never missed an episode. But I digress.
Miley really did have “the best of both worlds.” She got to switch identities whenever she wanted; pop star or normal teenage girl. The difficulty was finding a balance. Some of the show’s humorous moments came from Miley clashing with Southern California’s culture, given her Tennessee upbringing. I remember one episode in particular when Miley’s class goes camping, and while Miley has no problem pitching a tent or anything else that goes with camping, the rest of the kids struggle. Oliver’s video as they hiked was uproarious, and combined with Miley, Lilly and Oliver’s act of revenge against bullies Amber and Ashley, the episode was one for the books.
Miley’s brother Jackson was also hilarious in his own right—usually because he was doing something disgusting or just plain weird. Like iCarly, Hannah Montana had several characters with unique personalities that worked together, and clashed together, and it made for some unforgettable episodes.
Wizards of Waverly Place
I love the Russo family. They were all hilarious in their own ways. Alex, sarcastic and a troublemaker, often got into some kind of jam that she’d try to fix herself, but would end up relying on her family—usually Justin—to fix for her. Justin, studious and honest, usually carried the corny humor in the show. Max reminded me of Joey in Friends—good guy, but sometimes missed the obvious, which was where his humor derived from.
Theresa, their mother, usually stayed out of their wizard business, even if she got caught up in it from time to time. Jerry, their father, had his hands full trying to teach his three kids to control their powers—with only Justin really paying attention. It was hysterical to watch Jerry struggle over which kid to deal with first when they had done something wrong—the look on his face was priceless. Wizards of Waverly Place also introduced the likes of vampires and werewolves, providing plenty of supernatural occurrences, and humor when they interacted with the wizards of the Russo family.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Okay, I love shows that deal in the supernatural somehow, so of course Sabrina crossed my radar. I’ve been watching this show for as long as I can remember. I enjoy the earlier seasons, when Sabrina is still in high school, living with her two wildly different aunts, and navigating life as a teenager on top of handling her supernatural heritage.
Sabrina has difficulties with keeping her witchy side on the down low among her mortal peers from time to time. One of my favorite episodes is when she reluctantly goes along on a class trip to Salem, and as the class is pretending they are really living in the times of the Salem Witch Trials, they act as such—notably with Sabrina’s enemy Libby accusing Sabrina’s friend Jenny, and then Sabrina herself, of being a witch. The show had clever ways of combining Sabrina’s two worlds, and offering a life lesson out of it all.
H20: Just Add Water
H20 isn’t strictly a teen comedy; it’s more of a teen drama. However, it deserves an honorable mention because it’s one of my favorite teen shows—ever.
Three teenage girls magically transform into mermaids and each girl receives her own power over water. I was a major fan of The Little Mermaid already, so when this show came along, I became a part of its fan base, too.
It’s not always about mermaids and powers, though. It’s about the girls trying to find their own identities, learning through relationship struggles, facing rivals and so much more. I was particularly a fan of Cleo and Lewis’ relationship, and even Rikki’s and Zane’s. Lewis and Cleo, to be honest, are my favorite characters. I could relate to Cleo in certain ways, and Lewis as well. Their chemistry was perfect. Actually, the chemistry between the main cast members was exemplary; the friendship between the three girls particularly notable. It’s the kind of lasting friendship anyone would love to have, and the three girls, while they may not always agree, always have one another’s backs.